First Responder Treatment Providers
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The MO CIT Council has identified a list of trained behavioral health professionals who specialize in helping first responders who are struggling with depression, anxiety, relationships,
post-traumatic stress symptoms and more. The providers on this network understand our unique professional culture and are trusted and vetted by first responders.
The FRPN is considered a self-referral source.
Aisha Lubinski, LPC
Aisha Lubinski is a Psychotherapist (LPC) and Registered Dietitian in Chesterfield, MO. Aisha specializes in first responders and their families as she is a first responder wife. Aisha lives the same lifestyle that first responders do, which gives her a unique perspective in the treatment process. Aisha is trained in multiple techniques that allow the individual and couple to heal from their traumas (EMDR, Brainspotting, IFS). While talking in therapy is important, the healing process comes from the feelings that surround the events. In the first responder world, emotions in the moment are not accessible, however, to heal we must be given space to feel and connect. Aisha’s office opens up the space to feel safe and supported in accessing your emotions and your healing journey. Aisha accepts Anthem and UHC as insurance options and is happy to fill out superbills for insurance reimbursement.
Alynn Schmitt McManus, LCSW; Certified EMDR Psychotherapist
Alynn Schmitt McManus, M.S.W. is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified EMDR therapist with over 30 years of direct clinical practice experience, 25 being in private practice as an adult trauma specialist. Graduating from the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis in 1984, Alynn was trained in EMDR in 1998 and certified in 2010.
In addition to being in the full time private practice of psychotherapy, Alynn is a member of the Greater St. Louis EMDR Humanitarian Assistance Program Trauma Recovery Network (TRN) which assists and provides EMDR assistance to the greater St. Louis area in times of community crisis.
Alynn is also on staff as an EMDR psychotherapist volunteer to Warrior Camp, serving first responders, veterans and active duty military personnel, as well as a volunteer EMDR psychotherapist with the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s PCIS Program, 3-day intensively focused therapeutic seminar to assist law enforcement personnel suffering from traumatic stress following their involvement in highly critical incidents.
Alynn has extensive experience working with adult clients and treating all forms of trauma and the symptoms of PTSD, with expertise in populations of First Responder trauma.
Annette Jansen, Plpc
Sometimes life is quite messy and can take a long time to adapt to change. Asking for help
Isn’t always easy, but is often a necessary catalyst to persevere through grief, life changes, and
traumatic events. Finding someone to help you along this journey can be intimidating,
especially if you have never sought out therapy before. My hope is that you can stay open
minded in your search for the counselor who pushes you to stretch for a new way of thinking
and coping that will bring about whole healing and the change you desire.
I received my Bachelors in Psychology from Truman State, and my Masters in
Counseling from Lindenwood University. While I am currently a Provisionally Licensed
Professional Counselor at Sonder Counseling in Clayton since May of 2021, I bring almost a
decade of experience working with survivors of trauma amongst the First Responder
Community, specifically related to Line of Duty Deaths. More recently my focus
and interest has included Post Traumatic Stress of active/retired First
Responders and their families. I understand that being a First Responder is
often more like a life style than a career, having lived this lifestyle myself for
many years. I served as a 911 Dispatcher for 14 years, and I was married to a K-9 Police
Officer for nearly 10 years before he was killed in line of duty. The stresses of this lifestyle not
only impacts the individuals who chose this path, but all of their loved ones. I have served on
the Board of Missouri Concerns Police Survivors, and have led many support groups for
spouses, parents, siblings, and children/adult children of Officer’s killed in the line of duty.
My other interests include working with individuals and families struggling to find
balance, coping strategies, and resources when living with and/or supporting a
family member with a disability. Disabilities can have many faces. Some
disabilities are visible and some are unseen, such as mental illness, autism,
chronic fatigue, autoimmune disorders, cognitive impairment or traumatic brain
injury to name a few. Again, these situations produce a domino effect and
impact not only the individual, but all of the caretakers involved. The feelings of
hopelessness and isolation can be very overwhelming…but it does not have to
be that way.
Depression, anxiety, grief, trauma, transitional adaptation, and just generalized
stress are all areas where I feel confident collaborating with you on improving
the functionality of life. Developing rapport and a counseling relationship where
you feel safe to express any and all of life’s issues without fear of judgment is
my number one priority. My approach is client based and eclectic in nature, but
ultimately I desire to share a working relationship that relies on talk therapy, CBT, DBT, and
mindfulness techniques, applying coping strategies, and goal management. In the next few
months, I intend to be EMDR trained, and have more training in Complex Trauma. I cannot
accept insurance while provisionally licensed, but I do offer a sliding scale. Not all counselors
are a good fit, and I’m saddened to know that many stop looking because the connection
wasn’t right. If this is you, don’t give up. Keep looking because you are worth it.
Anthony D. Bass, Sr. M.E.d., MSW, LPC
St. Louis County
Has worked diligently with First Responders over the past ten years assisting with program develop designed to help First Responders presenting with complications associated with trauma, general mental health, and family issues. Mr. Bass has worked with several police department as a primary mental health provider and with Responder Rescue as a mental health consultant. He has headed Critical Incident Stress Debriefings for both fire and police departments and routinely takes calls to assist officer experiencing a range of crisis situations. In addition, Mr. Bass has over twenty-five years’ experience that encompass working in private practice, acute and nonacute psychiatric hospital settings, emergency rooms, community mental health centers, substance abuse centers, with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, correction’s centers, community law enforcement agencies, and educational institutions. Mr. Bass is an exceptionally skilled practitioner who has worked with complexities associated with dual diagnosis disorders, Bipolar, Schizophrenia, Anxiety, Personality, Eating, Post Traumatic Stress, Depressive, and or Mood Disorders in the inpatient and outpatient hospital settings. He is highly educated, trained and licensed as a Professional Counselor, Registered Substance Abuse Counselor in the state of Missouri. Mr. Bass holds certifications for Anger Management, Clinical Trauma Treatment Professional, Clinical Anxiety Treatment Professional, and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). He has been trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Solution Focused, and EMDR methodologies.
Barbara Edelman, LCSW/MSW
After practicing psychotherapy for ten years, I stumbled upon EMDR in 2007 and was trained. A lightbulb went off for me. Finally, I was able to help clients stuck in dysfunctional behavior and emotional patterns that I had not been able to help in the way that I had been practicing until then. Since that time, EMDR has guided the way I practice. I view each of my clients through the trauma lens and plan the treatment with that in mind. I continue to be amazed by the results in my office and the applications in the field of trauma and mental health. I am also an EMDRIA Approved Consultant and have a strong interest in working with first responders.
Ceil Renaud, MA/LPC
For over 20 years Ceil has treated a variety of mental health concerns in her private practice setting located in West St. Louis County. She enjoys working with adults dealing with anxiety, depression, ADHD, codependency, grief, marital issues, parenting concerns, life transitions, recent traumatic events, and life-long trauma. Her office is wheelchair accessible and now, virtually accessible through a HIPAA compliant video platform during COVID-19 precautions. Ceil graduated with her master’s in counseling in 1992 and began studying EMDR therapy in 2013 and was certified in 2018. She’s a member of the National Board for Certified Counselors and American Counseling Association and volunteers for both Give An Hour and the Greater St. Louis Trauma Recovery Network. She is in-network with UHC and Anthem/BCBS.
Chaplain (MAJOR) Laird "CHAP" Thompson
Chaplain (MAJOR) Laird "CHAP" Thompson, U.S. Army Retired 1991-2017 is an Ordained & Endorsed Full Gospel Army and Health Care Chaplain with Chaplaincy Full Gospel Churches and has 28 years of ministry and leadership experience in the U.S. Army, Civilian Ministries,and Healthcare Organizations. He graduated from Oklahoma State University ROTC program in 1999 with a BA in Psychology Counseling. As a Chaplain Candidate in the Missouri Army National Guard, he earned a Masters of Divinity from the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary in 2007. CHAP has served in Army chapels in Germany, Kosovo, Korea, and US Bases. His civilian ministries include: First United Methodist Church of Tulsa, OK, Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship at OK. St., Evangel Temple Church & Mercy Hospital in Springfield, MO. where he completed Residency of 4 Units in Clinical Pastoral Education to earn the Army Special Skill Identifier R7- Hospital Chaplain. He's ministered 8 years Clinically in 3 hospitals and 2 hospice companies. Chaplain Thompson was selected as the 2012 Hospice Health Care Champion by the Springfield Business Journal. Chap is currently an Elder at Destiny Point Church and Associate Staff Chaplain at Missouri University Healthcare Center in Columbia, MO. He is married to Dr. Emily Crawford-Thompson, and has two sons, Levi 18 and Isaiah 16 from a previous marriage. Chap works with ages 12 and up, and offers Life Coaching and Pastoral Care sessions at Columbia Psychology Healing Center Laird "CHAP" Thompson, M.Div - (columbiapsychology.com) . Discounted Private Pay rates are available for First Responders, Veterans, and Students. Schedule a free telephone consultation to find out if Chap is a good fit for you. Telehealth appointments available. Chap is an expert in Resiliency, Suicide Prevention Training and Healing of the Soul through Spiritual Care
Connie Collins, MA, LPC
Connie has spent the past 17 years in Community Mental Health in a variety of positions. She has a Master’s in Counseling. She is licensed as a Professional Counselor in the state of Missouri. Connie has been in the mental health field for the past 27 years. She has worked with youth, adolescents, adults in individual, family, as well as group therapy. She is trained in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Trauma Therapy. She is an adjunct professor with Columbia College, teaching both online and in-seat courses in Human Services and Counseling.
Connie has worked with those that have experienced trauma for the past 30 years. She has worked with those that have experienced domestic violence, homelessness, sexual assault, and PTSD. She has a passion for helping others on their journey to health and wellness. She does a lot of volunteer work in her community and currently serves as an Advisory Board member for the local Salvation Army.
David Strother, LCSW, MSW
David R. Strother is a licensed clinical social worker and the owner and operator of Valiant Therapeutic Services, an outpatient practice that provides Intensive Outpatient Program, group and individual psychotherapy. David is the former Director of Military Services for Signature Psychiatric Hospital. He was the creator and lead clinician for the Valor Recovery Program, which is a 28 day intensive treatment program for Active Duty Military, Veterans, and First responders and also was the previous Director and Clinical lead of the S.T.A.R. program that was the precedent to Valor. David honorably served in the United States Marine Corps where he was deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring freedom. Once honorably discharging from the military he pursued a degree in Social Psychology from Park University and earned his Masters of Social Welfare from University of Kansas. David has also had a career as a fire fighter/EMT for the city of Lee’s Summit MO for 6 years. David is a trauma psychotherapist who specializes in working with PTSD and other stress and trauma related disorders and has presented to several organizations to include military, state, educational, and private sector.
David has been categorized by superiors, peers, and subordinates as hardworking, independent, and authentic. No matter what service arena, he has always put his best foot forward and been willing to advocate for those who sometimes can’t advocate for themselves. As a clinician being able to establish a rapport with your clients is an essential part of the therapeutic process. David has experienced a wide range of tragedies and successes, and as such is able to empathize with people on more than a purely academic level. He brings not only academic and professional qualities but first-hand knowledge of the trials and tribulations experienced by those called to serve.
Deanna Sporleder, MS, MSCP, MARS, MRT, MRT-T, CCTP, CCTHP, LPC
Deanna is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). She has additional training as Medication Awareness Recovery Specialist (MARS), Certified Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP ), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) with Polyvagal Theory, Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS), and Certified Telemental Health Specialist. She graduated with a Master’s in Psychology and a Master’s in Counseling Psychology. She is now in private practice as owner of HATS Counseling, LLC (Helping Addiction, Trauma & Self-development). www.hatscounseling.com
Her experience with first responders include Army/ER Director spouse and Army medic/EMS/ Emergency Department Nurse child, Police Officer child, Dispatch child. She has a law enforcement and military extended family.
Clinical interests and modalities include EMDR and CBT-Trauma focused, Somatic Therapy, Wellness model, Family Systems, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Theology and Spirituality, Existentialism, Solution Focused Brief Therapy, Strengths Based Therapy, Interpersonal and Emotions Focused Therapy, Choice Therapy, Developmental and neuroscience, Intimacy and Relationship Issues, Attachment Issues. She recently completed training in Internal Family Systems. She considers herself a perpetual learner and is considering integrating a therapy dog. Truly a body/mind/spirit approach to wellness.
Diane Silman, LCSW
Diane is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 20 years of experience in clinical therapy. She approaches therapy from a person-centered, behavioral lens. She feels that people are most successful when they are able to develop their own resolutions while receiving supportive guidance. Diane received her Master’s degree in Social Work from The University of Missouri, Columbia in 2000, and is trained in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), and Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT). Diane has extensive experience working with adults and children suffering from symptoms of trauma, depression, anxiety, domestic violence, substance use/dependence, grief and loss, and relationship issues. She is passionate about providing the best possible care for her clients, and strives to create a space for growth and healing that is tailored to meet the client’s unique, and individual needs.
Dr. Gladys Smith, PsyD, LPC, Clinical Trauma Therapist
Dr. Smith is a licensed Psychotherapist, Clinical Mental Health Counselor, Master Addiction Counselor, Certified Clinical Trauma Professional II, Cultural Somatic Facilitator, and Registered Yoga Teacher. Dr. Smith is also a professor with Pepperdine University in the Graduate Psychology and Counseling program. She is a 27 year veteran of the United States Navy, serving as a Chief Petty Officer (HMC) Hospital Corpsman and Sexual Assault Therapist. She has lived in Iceland, Scotland, and The Republic of the Philippines, Guam, Scotland, Australia, and various locations throughout the world while serving in the Navy.
She has worked with veterans, families of military and Gold Star Mothers as well as First Responders and their families for over 20 years in various capacities, from group to individuals to training.
Dr. Smith obtained a Doctorate in Psychology from California Southern University (Psy.D), Master of Education from University of Missouri, and Master of Health Science from Washington University, St. Louis (M.Hs). She has advanced certifications in Trauma and Complex -PTSD. She is certified in EMDR, DBT, and CBT. She is a Consultant-In-Training for EMDR as well.
She is currently working as a Trauma Therapist at Washington University School of Medicine and has a private practice in Clayton, MO and Telehealth. She conducts training and workshops on wellness, trauma, racial trauma, addiction and self-care. She was awarded the Excellence in Education award in 2016 and the Volunteer of the Year award in 2020 for service with the YWCA.
Dr. Kristin Parkinson, Psychiatrist; M.D.
Dr. Kristin Parkinson is originally from Carrollton, MO, and has lived in Columbia since 1996.
She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from the University of Missouri in 2000. She went on to graduated from the University of Missouri School of Medicine in 2004 and completed her residency training in psychiatry through the University of Missouri in 2008. Dr. Parkinson is a Tiger through and through!
Following her residency, Dr. Parkinson worked in community mental health for 8 years. She provided care for a wide range of patients throughout mid-Missouri and gained a vast knowledge of diagnosing and treating a variety of mental health disorders.
In July 2016, Dr. Parkinson joined Dr. Nittler in private practice to serve the growing mental health needs of Columbia and the surrounding areas. She is board-certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and a member of the American Psychiatric Association. Dr. Parkinson has a special interest in the treatment of women's reproductive mental health and the unique needs of emergency first responders.
Dr. Parkinson is experienced in the treatment of:
-Mood disorders, Dysthymia, Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder
-Anxiety disorders, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, PTSD, Panic Disorder, Social Phobia, OCD
-Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD/ADD)
-Reproductive psychiatry, including medication management before, during, and after conception and pregnancy
Emily Crawford-Thompson, Ph.D
Dr. Emily Crawford-Thompson, Ph.D. is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist with over twelve years’ experience in psychological evaluations and counseling with ages 16 and older. She is well known in Columbia, Missouri as a trusted and compassionate psychologist with impeccable work that both providers and clients respect. Dr. Emily completed her internship and postdoctoral training at the Harry S Truman VA hospital, taught graduate assessment courses at Stephens College for several years, and worked in community mental health for almost 11 years before opening Columbia Psychology Healing Center in June 2020. She supervises providers for licensure, and has facilitated peer supervision for many years.
Dr. Emily enjoys helping trauma survivors, and offers Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), an evidence-based treatment for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Dr. Emily also offers continuing education workshops for mental health providers on various topics including CPT, assessment in counseling, and Autism in adults. In addition to individual counseling, Dr. Emily also offers group counseling for trauma survivors and their families. Dr. Emily is inspired by the resilience of the human spirit, and she specializes in helping to foster resilience from a variety of traumatic experiences. She has experience helping people recover from a wide range of traumatic events including sexual assault/abuse, physical abuse, emotional/verbal abuse, neglect, domestic violence, combat, and other traumas.
Dr. Emily also offers comprehensive psychological evaluations to determine diagnoses and treatment recommendations for a range of issues including Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and mood, anxiety, and thought disorders. She is trained in the ADOS-2 (Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule), MIGDAS-2, and other measures to assess for Autism Spectrum Disorder. She offers IQ testing and Learning Disorder testing, and evaluates independent living skills to provide concrete information about what kind of help individuals need to be more independent and enjoy their best quality of life. She also does evaluations to determine readiness to participate in bariatric surgery, spinal cord stimulator, and transplant procedures. Evaluations include a comprehensive written report with thorough, specific, and detailed recommendations for treatment and services, tailored to individual needs, and emphasizing strengths. Feedback includes a thorough discussion of results in which you are encouraged to ask questions and share your feelings about direction moving forward.
You are a unique and complex individual wonderfully created to do amazing things. It is Dr. Emily’s passion to get to know you through a thorough and collaborative process that facilitates your healing journey to your true identity. You deserve more than just a surface look at what makes you YOU.
Under PSYPACT, Dr. Emily offers telehealth in several states including Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.
Email Dr. Emily at email@example.com or visit https://columbiapsychology.com/.
Eric Hansen, LMSW, LMAC, CADC
Eric is a Licensed Masters Social Worker (LMSW), Licensed Master Addiction Counselor (LMAC) in Kansas and a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) in Missouri. He has a Master of Divinity (MDiv) with an emphasis in pastoral counseling. Eric has cultural competence living and providing services on the Yakima Indian Reservation which is a diverse cultural environment including hispanic, African American, and Alaska Native and American Indian populations. He has worked in a social detox unit, provided substance use disorder therapy to individuals, families, and groups in both inpatient psychiatric setting and outpatient. Populations he has worked with include adolescents, adults and military/first responders. Eric is trained in Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), Seeking Safety, Prolonged Exposure, University of Cincinnati Substance Abuse Program (UCSAP), and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Eric works with clients to utilize existing strengths and develop coping skills that meets their needs. He offers support to address concerns and facilitate positive changes. Eric’s favorite self-care activities include volunteering with youth, puzzles, Star Wars and being outdoors.
Gina Sokolich. LPC
Hi I’m Gina Rivera Sokolich, MA LPC CCTP, I've been in the medical field for quite some time, beginning as a First Responder for over 10 years in the EMS field and now as a Mental Health Therapist.
I saw a lot of disheartening things as a Responder and wanted to work my way to be available to help this community. I understand the day to day struggles and triumphs that is the culture of the First Responder Community.
I am very passionate about what I do because of these experiences and this community.
I take a client lead approach so that means that my job is to meet you where you are in your journey. We’ll discuss how I can help you see the different options that you may have. While these options may not be clear to you right away, together we will figure things out. The attunement I have with my clients is very valuable and effective in the healing process.
I’m trained in EMDR and Brainspotting as well as Trauma Certified (CCTP) and certified in CBT.
Holly Nemec, LPC
I'm Holly Nemec, a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Clinical Trauma Professional. I have been working in the mental health field for over 20 years. In that time, I learned that often mental health and substance use concerns are a result of trauma. As someone who believes in healing the wound, not slapping a bandaid on it, I became fascinated to learn about how traumatic experiences shape our emotional, social, and physical wellness. I began working directly with First Responders five years ago when I became involved in the CIT programs in the Eastern Region of Missouri. The more I worked with First Responders, the more I learned about the particular challenges and professional demands made on them and their families. It is in understanding this that I found a passion in giving back to them and to their families. We understand so much better how our brains and bodies are impacted by our experiences than we used to. Understanding these experiences and potential brain and body changes can teach us how to heal the brain and body.
Joanne Graham, LPC
Australian and now a US citizen, Registered Nurse for 10 years, Masters degree in Counseling, Licensed Professional Counselor, Advanced certificate in Trauma therapy, EMDR certified. Love working with first responders and their families!
Jody Petzoldt, MA, LPC, CFRC
ody Petzoldt is the Assistant Clinical Director at Great Oak Counseling and a Licensed Professional Counselor who received her Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling in 2011 from Southeast Missouri State University. She specializes in trauma, relationship, and recovery counseling. With a background in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Emotionally Focused Family Therapy, Jody facilitates the counseling process with a holistic approach based on connection, emotions, and sense of belonging. This approach combined with advanced level trainings and certification in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing) allow for healing and recovery for individuals and families presenting with various issues that often relate to complex trauma responses.
Jody also has completed additional trainings and experience to become a Certified First Responder Counselor (CFRC) to better serve our community of front line workers such as police officers, fire fighters, EMS, health care professionals, military, and more. She serves as the mental health professional advisor for the local first responders peer support team.
Much of Jody’s experience has been working with trauma and addictions (or undesired behaviors). She is also experienced with issues related to gender, LGBTQ populations, faith and spirituality, sexuality and sexual health, grief and loss, transitions, relationships, marriage, parenting, and normal life transitions.
When not assisting others in their own healing and growth, Jody spends time with her husband, three kids, and golden doodle “Arlo”. She is involved with the local community and is active in her church family. She values the importance of self care and demonstrates this in her every day life.
“When one can see no future, all one can do is the next right thing”
-Pabbie from Frozen 2
John Golden, MSW, LCSW
I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 15 years’ experience. I am a graduate of Mizzou with my Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and of the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University St. Louis for my Masters in Social Work. My primary focus is on assisting individuals dealing with stress, anxiety, and depression.
I have worked in community mental health, federally qualified health centers, the university setting and now private practice. Over the years I have worked with a variety of individuals, including many First Responders and their families dealing with grief, trauma, stress, anxiety, difficulties with sleep, depression, and relationship issues.
I firmly believe that finding the right therapist gives the greatest opportunity for success and therefore offer a 30 minute “meet and greet” so that we can see if my style is what you are seeking in a therapist as well as for me to make sure your presenting challenges are ones that I am well suited to address. My approach is straight-forward and action based, utilizing a variety of evidenced based approaches that can be worked into your day to day functioning. My goal is to make the process both effective and efficient.
I would welcome the opportunity to meet you and to help you with your challenges. Feel free to contact me directly at (573) 999-6038 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joni Bennett, MS, LPC
Do you constantly feel like you're either in crisis or waiting for the other shoe to drop? Are you exhausted from holding your life together and making sure you maintain appearances? Are you looking for a therapist who will meet you as an equal, yet have the professional skills needed to help you overcome obstacles? Joni might be the therapist to work with you.
A graduate of John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, Joni brings a wide range of clinical experience, life lessons, and professional training to her role as a therapist. She is passionate about clinician training and increasing access to quality mental health treatment in rural areas. She is enthusiastic about expanding mental health education for law enforcement and first responders and believes our greatest tool for mental health recovery is a combination of prevention and awareness of warning signs. Joni completed professional training at the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks in Fayetteville, AR and has personal experience as a family member of law enforcement and military. Born and raised in Rural Missouri, Joni also has insight into the unique needs of law enforcement and first responders in rural areas, where every call could be related to a neighbor, friend, or loved one.
Joni specializes in the use of EMDR and Dialectical Behavior Therapy. She has expertise in helping first responders successfully navigate end-of-career transitions, as well as manage anxiety and overwhelm responses to crises experienced in the field so first responders of all types can get back to work without worrying about a mental collapse at home or in the field. Joni works exclusively via telehealth using HIPAA compliant technology, so is available to meet treatment needs statewide.
Joseph F. Hulgus, Ph.D., MPH
Dr. Joe Hulgus is a licensed psychologist in Springfield, Missouri. Dr. Hulgus has over 30 years of clinical experience and specializes in trauma recovery (through the use of EMDR), and family therapy. Dr. Hulgus also teaches full-time at Missouri State University in their CACREP-approved counselling programs. Dr. Hulgus may be reached at (417) 827-1557.
Joy Gillespie, MSW, LCSW
Joy graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 2010 with her Master's Degree in Social Work. She has been in practice for 10 years. As a certified EMDR psychotherapist, Joy specializes in treating trauma, complex PTSD, and anxiety disorders in adults. Her clinical background in the past 10 years involves working on psych units in hospital settings as a psychiatric social worker, providing outpatient counseling services for adults in community health clinics, and providing psychotherapy services to adults in private practice.
Joy has a strong passion for helping adults struggling with perfectionism or anxiety/worry, people who are troubled by their "unfinished business" from the past, those that identify themselves as "people pleaser", and people who somehow feel like they are not good enough. Many of Joy's clients report being abused or neglected in some way some time in their lives, especially in their childhood. Other clients Joy sees serve as first responders in the community who witness(ed) traumatic events at the workplace. Joy firmly believes everybody can heal from past wounds given the right resources and support.
Joy's therapeutic approach is compassion-based and emotion-based. It is her top priority to provide a safe, confidential, compassionate and non-judgmental space for clients to work through current struggles. She is committed to helping you identify the core issues leading up to the present concerns, and providing the necessary knowledge and tools for you to gain more insight into current issues. She will explain all the treatment options in detail, and you will work closely as a team to come up with a treatment plan that best meets your therapeutic needs and goals
Julia Dooley, MA, LPC, RPT-S
Julia Dooley, MA, LPC, RPT is trained in: Trauma Recovery using Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Communication Skills, Play Therapy, Mandated Reporting, Responding to Disclosures of Sexual Abuse, Anti-Bullying, and Mindfulness. I am Youth Mental Health First Aid Certified. I facilitate individual sessions, groups, and family counseling for all ages.
I learn and grow from the diverse experiences of others. I seek common ground and focus on shared similarities. My greatest personal success was spending a week on a Native American Indian Reservation and contributing to the Cheyenne River Youth Project. Professionally, I am most proud of my many experiences in the Field of Special Education. I worked with students attending, The Center for Autism Education, and they are just amazing! All of my work has been extremely rewarding, because of the amazing relationships I have been blessed to be a part of.
Please contact me to schedule an appointment: (636) 497-9750
Julie Probus-Schad, LCSW, Psychotherapist
Julie Probus-Schad is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 30 years of experience treating individuals, couples, and families. She has a private practice in Chesterfield, MO. Julie's innovative approach to psychotherapy allows the client to develop the necessary skills and insights to optimize wellness. Through the utilization of trauma-informed therapies, with an emphasis on healing early relational attachment wounds, Julie specializes in treating PTSD and trauma.
In addition to her private practice, Julie is passionate about trauma-informed healing throughout the world. She has trained staff and worked with children in orphanages and children's homes in South Africa, Peru, India, and Nepal. Julie has worked with the Trauma Healing and Reconciliation Program in Monrovia, Liberia, focusing on reintegrating former Child Soldiers into the community and subsequently provided Resource Tapping to children via Skype during the Ebola Crisis in Liberia. She has worked with the Red Cross as a Mental Provider post Hurricane Katrina, as well as providing care in the field after the Joplin Tornado and other natural disasters. Most recently, Julie headed a team responding to the mass shooting in Odessa/Midland, Texas.
Julie is a Parnell Institute, and EMDRIA Approved Consultant and Facilitator as well as a Parnell Institute Trainer for EMDR Basic Training Parts 1, 2, and 3. Julie has facilitated trainings with the internationally recognized EMDR Expert, Dr. Laurel Parnell, throughout the United States, in Curacao, Singapore, and Malaysia. She has also provided training to the Missouri National Guard regarding trauma and dissociation. Julie has delivered Keynotes at the Parnell Institute Innovations in EMDR Conference in 2017, 2018, and 2019 and is slated for 2021 as well as providing Master Classes at the Parnell Institute Conference. She is a contributing author for, Rewiring the Addicted Brain: An EMDR–Based Treatment Model for Overcoming Addictive Disorders (Parnell, 2018). Julie offers EMDRIA and Parnell Approved Consultation for Certification and Consultation of Consultation.
Julie is the co-founder of the Trauma Assistance Program-International, TAP-IN, the nonprofit sister organization of the Parnell Institute, where she serves as the Co-Director under the Board President, Dr. Laurel Parnell. For more information about TAP-IN, go to www.traumaassistanceprogram-international.org
Justin Wiseman, Psychologist, PsyD
Dr. Wiseman is a licensed Clinical Psychologist in Missouri and received his doctorate (Psy.D.) in Clinical Psychology from Wright State University’s School of Professional Psychology in 2018. Throughout his training and early career, Dr. Wiseman has provided treatment services to adolescents and adults in several settings, including college counseling centers, community mental health centers, inpatient hospitals, and state/federal penitentiaries.
Dr. Wiseman has firsthand personal and professional experience with first responder populations. He currently works as a Drug Abuse Program Coordinator at the United States Federal Penitentiary Leavenworth in Leavenworth, Kansas. On a daily basis, he works alongside correctional officers (many of which have police and military experience), and is expected to carry out the duties of a law enforcement officer on top of his role as a Psychologist. Additionally, his father has served as a fire fighter for the city of St. Louis for the past 25 years. Through his personal and professional experiences, he has been exposed to and has familiarized himself with the first responder culture. At his previous and current work environments he is often times tasked with providing crisis intervention services to staff in need, to include those impacted by post-traumatic stress. He understands the impact these professions can have on an individual's mental well-being and willingness to seek help, particularly during periods of crisis and uncertainty. He can personally relate to the impact the aforementioned professions have on the individual and those close to them.
After hours, Dr. Wiseman provides individual therapy services (primarily via telehealth) for a variety of mental health concerns with Vitality Psychological Services (based in Columbia, MO). Many individuals he works closely with experience unwanted psychological symptoms as a result of having an underlying trauma history related to sexual, physical, and/or emotional abuse. He also has had experience working with individuals whom have experienced neglect, human trafficking, and those involved in combat.
Dr. Wiseman’s other clinical interests include, but are not limited to, treating depression, anxiety, grief and loss, substance use, interpersonal/relational issues, stress reduction, life transitions, problematic sexual behavior, and self-esteem issues. When working with these clinical concerns he utilizes a client-centered approach, with a priority of developing a strong working relationship with his clients. He views each of his clients as being unique and as having their own journey to healing. He believes it to be imperative to create a safe and welcoming environment and his approach to treatment emphasizes openness, authenticity, understanding, empathy, and collaboration. He is passionate on both helping his clients live more meaningful lives while aiding them in gaining a sense of personal success and empowerment.
Dr. Wiseman is trained in several different therapeutic modalities and employs a number of evidence-based interventions based on his client’s needs and to help them progress toward their goals. Dr. Wiseman has formalized training, competency, and experience in the following treatment modalities: Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT); Trauma Focused CBT; Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT); Trauma Focused DBT; Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PET); Integrated Treatment for Complex Trauma (ITCT); and Seeking Safety.
Keeley Finney, MSW, LCSW, CRAADC, MARS, CHW
Keely Finney is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in Missouri and Illinois, with over 10 years of experience in Trauma Focused Treatment. She has additional training as a Certified Reciprocal Advance Alcohol Drug Counselor (CRAADC), Medication Awareness Recovery Specialist (MARS), and Community Health Worker. She is trained in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing Therapy), Cognitive Processing Therapy, and Prolonged Exposure. Keely graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation Psychology from University of Central Missouri and a Master’s in Social Work from Saint Louis University. She has over 20 years working in several areas of social work, including medical social work and outpatient substance use disorder treatment. Through a person-centered approach, Keely has worked with First Responders directly and as a volunteer in the Cops and Clinicians pilot program with the Metropolitan Police Department in St. Louis city. Within her sphere of influence, she has been known for supporting individuals as they work to understand and address trauma and how it affects their thinking, beliefs, behaviors, and overall daily functioning. Keely is the Founder and CEO of Rejuvenating Comprehensive Services (RCS), where community engagement and therapeutic evidence-based practices are utilized to improve social emotional/mental, physical, and spiritual health.
Kelly O'Donnell, LCSW/MSW
Kelly is an EMDR therapist and specializes in helping clients who have experienced trauma, or who have to deal with difficult experiences on a regular basis. Kelly helps her clients change their symptoms and behaviors by bridging the emotional and rational mind (which normally operate separate from each other). Traumatic experiences are stored differently in the mind and the body. It is normal to develop symptoms after these experiences and it does not mean you are weak, or there is "something wrong" with you. Kelly can help you heal, to let go of the beliefs that hold you back, and to live fully in the present. Call Kelly today to see if it is a good fit.
Kenneth D. McManus Jr., LPC
Ken McManus is a licensed professional counselor (LPC) with 40 years of experience serving individuals, couples, teens and families. Throughout his career he has counseled emergency responder personnel and their families. Between 1989 and 2001 he served on the faculty of the Missouri Highway Patrol and the Illinois State Police D.A.R.E academies and from 2007 to the present, he has collaborated with law enforcement in community interventions targeting reductions in youth substance abuse and prescription medication diversions. He completed his graduate education at the University of Missouri- St. Louis and is a certified EMDR (2018) and ART Basic (2020) psychotherapist. In February 2020, he completed the 40-hour basic CIT training at the St. Louis County Police Academy. His office hours are evenings and Saturdays.
Kimberly Vest, MA, LPC, CFRC (Certified First Responder Counselor)
As a therapist, my main focus is to care for the concerns of the client's heart. I believe that we are made for connection and attachment. When relationships have been harmed or trauma has occurred, there is a fracture, wound or scar. This can run deep and needs to be treated with tenderness and understanding. Those who have experienced trauma may not understand the toll it has done to the brain, body, heart, soul or voice. I have the privilege of educating and finding therapeutic ways in which the client can heal. It is a true honor to walk alongside someone while they find their way towards healing and wholeness.
Kolleen L. Simons, MSW, LCSW
Kolleen L. Simons, MSW, LCSW has more than 25 years experience in the mental health field working with First Responders. She was a law enforcement officer for over six years in St. Louis County Missouri. While with the St. Louis County Police Department, she worked in Patrol and neighborhood policing prior to transferring to the Crimes Against Persons unit. As a detective within Crimes Against Persons, she was assigned to Family Crimes.
She holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis and has been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of Missouri since 2003.
Kolleen Simons grew up around police work. Her father served as a police officer for more than 30 years. With her background in both criminal justice and mental health, Kolleen is able to bring a unique skillset to the first-responder community that most clinicians can’t offer.
All services provided are customized to meet the needs of the client. Services can be conducted virtually or in person at either of her offices. Offices are located in Eureka, MO and St. Louis, MO.
Most insurance plans and EAP’s are accepted along with offering a sliding scale/private pay options.
Kolleen has a flexible schedule to accommodate shift work along with offering weekend appointments.
For more information or to schedule please email or call.
Email – Ksimons@rightsolutioncounseling.com
Ladonna Beachy, MSW, LCSW
Ladonna Beachy is an experienced Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a demonstrated history of working in the hospital & health care industry. She is skilled in trauma informed treatment models working primarily with adults or adults and their children in a family therapy context. She is also skilled in Clinical Supervision and Training, Trauma Informed Care Organizational Training & Consulting.
Ladonna is married living in rural Columbia, MO with her husband and children. She has four children ranging in age from 14-28. She enjoys the outdoors, especially biking, hiking, or kayaking. She also enjoys mixed media art, reading, and movies. Her family, friends, and faith sustain her; while she remains passionate about her purpose in caring for others.
Ladonna’s career has spanned more than 30 years. Her career began in child welfare, followed by working in non-profit organizations in the greater Kansas City area serving those living in poverty and homelessness. She then moved to the mid Missouri area and began working at Fulton State Hospital where she quickly took on several clinical and leadership roles including becoming the first Trauma Informed Care Coordinator in a maximum-security forensic setting. She was instrumental in FSH becoming the first trauma informed forensic mental health setting in the nation. She has remained involved in the Missouri Trauma Roundtable since it’s inception nearly a decade ago. Ladonna has had direct involvement in the creation of several guidance documents through the Round Table to assist other organizations in developing a trauma informed culture of care for both their staff and a diverse client base. She has provide hundreds of presentations across community organizations, corrections, schools, and other health care organizations on topics related to trauma, self-care/compassion fatigue, and a variety of other related topics.
Ladonna has experience personally and professionally with trauma and loss and has worked extensively providing clinical treatment to individuals with a range of mental health symptoms including PTSD, grief/loss, and mood related symptoms. Ladonna has worked with law enforcement and other health care providers in a variety of roles and has been a “trauma champion” for both providers serving others in crisis as well as clients who have acute and complex trauma. Ladonna has extended family members who are in law enforcement, and many friends who are involved in health care positions including EMS, RN’s, LPN’s, etc. Due to her experience with the complexity related to crisis-oriented work, along with the lack of safety and predictability in many work settings; she is uniquely qualified to provide support and intervention for a broad group of individuals and families. She is authentic and collaborative in her approach.
Ladonna has experience and training in utilizing a variety of evidence based and trauma specific treatments including: TF-CBT(Trauma Focused- Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Prolonged Exposure Therapy, EMDR(Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing , ITCT (Integrative Treatment of Complex Trauma), FST (Family Trauma Institute), M-TREM (Trauma Recovery Empowerment Model Groups), Seeking Safety, CPT (Cognitive Processing Therapy), Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, and Trauma Informed Expressive Arts. She is currently a member of DBT Columbia (group of providers offering Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Groups for individuals at high risk of suicide and self-harm related to mood regulation difficulties).
Ladonna is also a member of the NASW (National Association of Social Workers) and in 2021 received the Social Worker of the Year award for a career-long devotion to the core values of the social work profession and her service in meeting the needs of our community’s most vulnerable individuals and families.
Ladonna retired after 26 years of state employment and opened her own private practice Wren Counseling Solutions LLC March 2021, where she provides individual, couples, and family therapy.
To learn more about me and the services I can offer you please visit my website: wrencounseling-solutions.com or call me at 573-615-4320. My office is located in Buttonwood Business Center at 3610 Buttonwood Dr, Suite 200, Columbia, MO 65201. I can provide in person and /or telehealth visits for Missouri residents. I look forward to the opportunity to support you and/or your family if the need arises. I will work with you to build on the strength and resilience you currently possess so that you can continue with your best life. We know that our body keeps the score and my approach will always involve supporting your emotional, physical, and spiritual health, whatever that may mean to you.
Linda Berletic, MS/LPC
South East of KC
Linda Berletic, MS, LPC, is a therapist who specializes in trauma recovery and is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), along with other evidence-based practices. Those who have experienced trauma may not understand the toll it has taken on the brain, body, heart, or soul. I will work to help you understanding how the brain and body store trauma memories, how to recognize symptoms, and walk with you as you develop a tool box of coping skills to help you heal.
I am a veteran of the United States Army and was part of a military family for decades. I seek connection and common ground with those I meet. I am honored to walk beside you as you heal and find peace again in your life.
Please contact me to schedule an appointment: (660) 207-2115
Linda Denison, LPC, CFRC
I am a Licensed Counselor in private practice in St. Charles, MO and have been for almost 12 years. Prior to that I worked in community mental health that provided a very strong foundation for my practice today. I am a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional as well as a Certified First Responder Counselor. I have always had a strong interest in trauma and in the last few years, I have found that working with First Responders is a strong skill set of mine. I feel I have a solid understanding of this line of work and how it also affects life outside of wearing the uniform. In 2021, I completed a 50-hour certification course in helping First Responders and their mental health. I understand that building trust in a provider can be a challenge, but I am confident that I can provide a safe, comfortable and confidential place to work through the challenges of your job. I pride myself on remaining calm in any situation and having the ability to not be shocked by many things. I understand that anxiety, stress and depression can be part of the job and at times you may feel like you are the only one who has challenges in coping with your job, but I can assure that’s not the case! In the coming year, it is my goal to continue to gain more and more knowledge and other treatment modalities to continue to treat trauma. You don’t have to go at this alone and I am here to be a steppingstone for better mental health. I accept most insurances and am happy to talk about other options as well for the First Responder community.
Lisa Baker, MSN FNP-C
As a Healthcare Provider I find my experiences, background, and training provide a unique perspective when working with people regarding their physical health. Physical health and mental health are not two separate entities. Our mental health directly impacts our physical health and our physical health directly impacts our mental health. I strive to always evaluate and treat the whole person, not simply their physical complaints or concerns. Someone is never a diagnosis or a number, a person is so much more than that!
Mark Wardlow, MA, LPC, CCDP-D, MARS
I am a Military Veteran and a Licensed Professional Counselor in Missouri, with expertise in depression,stress and anxiety, addictions, and problems related to high profile occupations. My work experience ranges from working both in inpatient and outpatient settings, crisis response, and working with individuals of all-ages and socio-economic backgrounds. As an Executive myself and former member of the military, I have experience working with people who have heavy work-related demands. I have been helping people with depression, anxiety, relationship struggles and various other mental health, Substance Use, and emotional challenges for the last several years. I use a person-centered approach emphasizing the importance of the therapist/client relationship, along with a cognitive behavioral approach to allow you to explore the thought patterns related to the challenging emotions and behaviors. My counseling philosophy is based on an acknowledgment of the individual’s background and personal beliefs. My style allows the people I work with to develop their own perspective of problem solving and empowers them to make the changes needed in order to accomplish their goals.
Matthew Tompkins, EdS, LPC
Matthew Tompkins, EdS, LPC
Matt is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Missouri and completed his master's degree in counseling at Webster University in 2016. He followed that up with a specialist degree in counselor education from Southeast Missouri State University in 2018.
Matt has spent much of his life in southeast Missouri and is proud to have served in the Missouri Army National Guard for 12 years.
Matt has extensive experience working with adolescents, couples, trauma victims, military, law enforcement, and first responders. His advanced training includes Emotion Focused Couples Therapy (EFT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Certified Clinical Anxiety Treatment Professional, and Certified Tele-mental Health Provider.
Aside from work, Matt values spending time with his wife and three kids. His interests include playing and recording music. He also enjoys camping and following his favorite sports teams.
Michala "Paige" Comer, LPC, EdD
Michala Paige Comer, EdD, LPC is a professional counselor licensed in Missouri and Kansas. She has a history of helping those with all forms of addiction, anxiety disorders, OCD, PTSD, acute traumatization, anger management, personality disorders, reintegration, and phase of life changes. Michala is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and is actively working toward her certification in EMDR, as well. Early in her career, her experiences included working in addiction recovery services and outpatient mental health. From there she worked for the St. Luke’s Employee Assistance Program contracted with the Kansas City Fire Department providing counseling to first responders. Next, Dr. M. Paige Comer worked as a contractor with the U.S. Air Force as an embedded counselor placed in squadron work areas providing therapy to service members and their families. Currently, she owns and operates Comer Counseling, LLC
Marriage/Couples counseling with an emphasis on both the partnership of the primary relationship and on the individuals involved. Her training and preference of theories utilized in marriage/couples counseling are Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT), Imago Therapy, and effective communication skills combining theories and research indications.
Individual counseling following a person-centered, non-judgmental approach. Her training and preference of theories utilized are Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Internal Family Systems (IFS), Solution-Focused Therapy (SFT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), and a combination of existentialism and logotherapy. The overarching goal is to help clients determine their own best course.
Dr. M. Paige Comer’s undergraduate and first graduate degree were in Agriculture. After making a career change, she got another graduate degree, but this time in Professional Counseling from the University of Central Missouri, CACREP accredited, and a doctorate degree from the University of Missouri, Columbia. In addition to being a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), she is a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional, Level 2 (CCTP, II) and has been trained by the Veterans Administration in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Deployment Psychology in the diagnosis of PTSD and the care of those considered to be at high suicidal risk.
Nate Brack, MA, LPC, CRADC
I am a graduate of the University of Colorado with specialized training in traumatic stress and addiction. As a therapist I believe that symptoms resulting from stressful life experiences can be treated using validated scientific interventions. Addiction can often accompany traumatic stress. In an effort to cope, individuals frequently find themselves trapped by the comforting yet costly effects of addictive behaviors.
I am trained in EMDR therapy https://www.emdria.org/page/emdr_therapy, a top tier treatment for traumatic stress. EMDR taps into the brain’s natural ability to heal itself by unburdening troublesome memories. I also utilize ACT and IFS approaches to cultivate self compassion, overcome shame, confront fear, and facilitate present focused decision making.
In today's fast paced and hectic world anyone can become overwhelmed by the toxic nature of stress. Yet the courageous decision to seek healing can be the first step in a new direction. I am currently accepting new clients and would welcome you to contact me to see if I might be a good fit with your goals.
Penny Monetti, MS, LPC, NCC
SE of Kansas City
As a young EMT working on an ambulance, fire department, and search and rescue unit in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, Penny witnessed trauma firsthand. She then received her nursing degree, raised three super amazing kids as a military spouse of 24 years and later became a Mental Health Counselor. Penny worked with military families nationwide giving presentations on PTSD and posttraumatic growth. However, the impact of mental health hit home when her own child experienced PTSD in the military, which launched her into relentlessly seeking the most effective modalities for depression and Posttraumatic growth and recovery. She found it with EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) coupled with Internal family Systems (IFS). She also utilizes ketamine, a proven medication to help eliminate PTSD upon request and after medical screening. With over 1500 hours of EMDR therapy and training other EMDR therapists, Penny believed there was an even quicker recovery process than the normal counseling route; therefore, Penny now offers clients half-day to three day intensive EMDR sessions, at Spring Valley Counseling and Trauma Recovery Center.
Penny couldn't do this alone. Her four-legged associate therapist, Ruffio, (name derived from Peter Pan’s offshoot movie "Hook" and who is the leader of the lost boys) accompanies clients through their trauma and leads them safely home. Ruffio is available upon request.
Spring Valley Counseling and Trauma Recovery Center
Nestled in a natural wooded landscape that lends to healing the mind, body, and spirit, Penny incorporates this highly specialized integrative therapy with first responders, military personnel, and individuals affected by trauma. She also works with clients experiencing depression, anxiety, grief, obsessive compulsive disorders, low self-esteem and anyone who feels stuck in their old ways of thinking.
“I see healing every single day with people lost in hopelessness, despair, fear and anxiety. Witnessing recovery fuels my passion to advocate for accessible treatment, mentor other therapists to expand their EMDR skills and continue to improve my own in efforts to free peoples’ minds from the debilitating mental prison trauma and depression creates."
Rashonda Thornton LPC, MAADC II
Rashonda Thornton is a Licensed Professional Counselor with over a
decade of experience in providing mental wellness services. She is the
Founder of Recovery Transitions, LLC providing counselling, coaching
and educational services to individuals and their families
transitioning in their healing journey of Trauma, Grief and Addiction.
Utilizing her education in Criminology and First Responder
Certification she has been privileged to facilitate Crisis Management
and Debriefings for Law Enforcement throughout the metropolitan area.
In addition she has served as a Community Crisis Responder in
correctional and hospital entities for many years.
Rashonda is trained in a variety of evidenced based practice
treatments such as EMDR. Trauma -Focused Cognitive Behavior, Therapy
and Internal Family Systems. Her expertise is shared across multiple
disciplinary settings, supporting program development, educational
platforms and focus groups throughout the St Louis and St Charles
Rashonda Thornton LPC, MAADC II
Recovery Transitions, LLC
Sheena Kirkendoll LSCSW, LCAC, LCSW, CRAADC, SAP, CCTP-II
Sheena Kirkendoll is dually licensed in the state of Missouri and Kansas as a Licensed Specialist Clinical Social Worker (LSCSW), Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Licensed Clinical Addiction Counselor (LCAC), and Certified Reciprocal Advance Alcohol Drug Counselor (CRAADC). She is EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing Therapy) trained and certified to provide Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) assessments as stipulated by Department of Transportation regulations. Sheena is a Park University graduate and has been providing clinical services in the Kansas City area for many years. She has a background in medical social work, outpatient substance use disorder treatment, and inpatient psychiatric care. Currently, she is the owner of Clinical Counseling Associates of Kansas City, a private practice located in Liberty, Missouri. Sheena has personal experience with the first responder and military population due to having several family members providing this important service. This personal and professional experience, allows Sheena to provide exceptional care to this population. In addition to providing individual care, Sheena created a specialized team within the practice to work with the first responder and military population. As a result, Sheena and the practice are known for their work with this population and are preferred providers for several local police departments, the Kansas City Fire Departments, and military personnel. She recognizes the importance of rapport and trust when formulating these therapeutic relationships. Trust creates the foundation to provide quality care and receive the most benefit from services. Sheena’s specialties include behavioral health, substance use disorder, EMDR trained, SAP assessor, co-occurring disorders, trauma focused, PTSD, anxiety, depression, mood disorders, first responders, and military.
Tara Stevens, LPC
I am a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Clinical Trauma Professional. I have spent the majority of my career working at a crisis line where I had the opportunity to work directly with law enforcement as a community mental health liaison and participate on local CIT councils and training committees. I have had the privilege of presenting at national and international conferences including CIT on trauma and stress. What I love the most from all the research around trauma is that we can heal trauma. This is my passion. Most of us have experienced a traumatic event and all of us experience stress on a daily basis (because we are human). This stress and trauma impacts our brain, our bodies, our worldview. My goal is to help you heal your brain and body to lead to a happier, healthier and more productive life. I do this by incorporating different therapeutic modalities including EMDR. In addition I am an adjunct instructor at Maryville University in St. Louis, MO and provide consultation on trauma informed services.
Tracy Francis, LCSW
I graduated from Columbia College with my Bachelor's in Psychology/Sociology. I then went on to Mizzou and graduated with my MSW in social work and am now a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. I have been working in the mental health field for the past 8 years. Prior to that, I was a volunteer EMT for 15 years. I know the types of things that you have seen and dealt with. I also understand how reaching out for help when you are the one others rely on is difficult. To say that working with individuals like yourself is my passion almost does not seem like a strong enough statement. I work with individuals who struggle with trauma, depression, anxiety, grief and loss, substance use, and more. I am EMDR certified. I also utilize a person-centered, solution-focused approach. In therapy, you will gain the tools you need to deal with difficult situations now as well as in the future. Working in this field we know there will continue to be those days. You will learn skills to help you navigate past distressing situations. That will be an asset to you when you do encounter those rough days. You will recognize when and how to use a variety of techniques to help you navigate past those rough days. You will learn to recognize the support that you already have in your life. We will take these skills and supports that you already have and add new ones that will allow you to become the best you that you can be. You will learn many skills that will help you to feel better. I am betting you will be able to teach others some of these tips and tricks in a work setting when you recognize someone that is struggling. My goal is for you to feel good about yourself and the amazing work that you are doing! People depend on you and I want you to know you can depend on me.
Valerie Hooper, PsyD
Dr. Hooper is a trained and experienced clinical and forensic psychologist. She has been a licensed psychologist in the State of Missouri since 2016. She opened Vitality Psychological Services after recognizing the need for greater access to mental health services in the community. Dr. Hooper brings her excellent diagnostic and treatment skills to her clinical and forensic practices. As the daughter of a career military father, Dr. Hooper is especially passionate about helping veterans. Dr. Hooper utilizes her experience to provide exceptional care to frontline workers including medical, mental health, emergency response and law enforcement populations.
Education & Training
• Doctorate: Forest Institute of Professional Psychology
• Internship: Kentucky Department of Corrections
• Fellowship: West Tennessee Forensic Services
• Fellowship: Jackson Psychological Services
Throughout her career, Dr.Hooper has had a passion for psychology and the law. She has trained extensively in forensic matters including forensic case law, principles of forensic assessment, and forensic practice guidelines. Her methodical and detail-oriented approach to forensic and psychological assessment produces high quality, unbiased opinions grounded in the research. As an experienced forensic psychologist, she has experience in courtroom testimony and has written evaluations accepted by the state and federal courts. Dr. Hooper has been retained by attorneys and judges for cases before civil, criminal, and family courts. Additional areas of practice include pre-employment, fitness for duty, and critical incident evaluations for police and correctional agencies.
In her clinical non-forensic practice, Dr. Hooper provides individual therapy as well as psychodiagnostic and psychoeducational assessments for a variety of mental health concerns. Dr. Hooper’s approach to individual therapy is guided by the belief that the therapeutic relationship is the catalyst for change. She believes in creating an environment that emphasizes trust, respect, integrity, and compassion. Because change can be a difficult and sometimes painful process, Dr. Hooper is committed to utilizing evidenced based interventions to aid clients in their mental health journey.
Dr. Hooper’s areas of clinical focus include anxiety, depression, trauma, parent-child relational problems, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), conduct concerns in childhood, and problematic sexual behavior issues. She employs techniques and strategies proven to effectively treat her client’s concerns from cognitive processing therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, interpersonal therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and Barkley’s Parent Training in treatment.
Yvonne Byrd, MA LPC-S, RPT-S, NCC
Yvonne earned a Bachelor's degree in both Psychology and Criminal Justice. She continued on with her education earning her Masters Degree in Professional Mental Health Counseling from Webster University. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Registered Play Therapist, Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor, Certified Child and Adolescent Trauma Professional, and EMDR trained. She has specialized training and experience in working with military service members, first responders, and their families. Using an integrative therapeutic modality, she provides a person-centered approach to meet your needs and goals. She is trained in using a variety of therapeutic approaches to include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectic Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused, Adlerian, Play Therapy, Sand Tray, and trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR).
Yvonne worked as a Military and Family Life Counselor at Whiteman Air Force Base within squadrons alongside service members, several our local schools, and youth program; with at-risk youth in a residential treatment facility; private practice with all ages near another military installation; and with the state of Missouri as an Adult Protective and Community Worker where she investigated abuse, neglect, and exploitation of disabled persons 18 years or older and elderly populations alongside numerous police agencies. She also worked alongside numerous first responders to help those in the community. EMT's, the Emergency Room, court room, and other helping professionals/agencies were common to work with and around, giving her a unique perspective which many other clinicians do not experience.
During her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband who is an Air Force Reservist, two children, and pet bunny. She is a huge Harry Potter fan, loves reading, playing video games, and board/card games.
“I’m doing really good since our visit!!!! No nightmares since our visit either. Work has calmed down and I’m talking less medication than I’ve taken in a year if I even take any now at all. Thank you for the opportunity to get help.
I look forward to seeing you in December.“
"I would like to say that this service has been very helpful to me. I'm learning tools to use on how to manage stress, to recognize patterns that lead to stress. Also understanding the difference between anxiety and stress and the effects that are caused by both."
"EMDR and this grant has helped me out in more ways than I could have ever expected. I am at a point mentally that I never thought I would get to in my life. Life is in no means fair, bujt it doesn't mean you can't get the help you need and this grant made that possible for me. It has helped me change my outlook on life and for the better."
"I really appreciate all the help you have given me. You have helped me understand myself a lot more, and given me great tools to overcome my past issues. I am so grateful for this opportunity to have counseling with you.
Time to have a heart to heart, with your mind.
War Horse for Veteran Program offers a peer-led approach for first responders and veterans to promote self awareness, leadership, communication skills, and tactical longevity through horsemanship.
War Horses is a one of a kind facility that is led by retired military veterans and first responders.